do something cool
a toyota chinook camper van
travel / outdoor adventuring
fishing, hiking, surfing
i am a bit of a minimalist, living in a camper will do that to you i guess. i take my camera with me pretty much everywhere. i have a compass my father gave me that is sort of a lucky charm.
there’s just something about a person who can impact you so deeply without you ever meeting. someone who can pull you in and make you feel not only like you’ve known them your whole life, but that you want to know more.
this, is the effect we were left with when our paths crossed do something cool.
traveler, photographer, adventure creator and story maker, michael weybret found himself like most, stuck in the monotony of life. this lack of direction lit a fire under his tukhus to chase what some would call a dream, but for him, has just become a way of life that has created one and only rule to be followed; “live a story filled lifestyle. always do what makes for a better story.”
pushing two years on the road, an uncountable number of miles and many memories made, we tracked him down and were able to spend a few with micheal. inspiration comes and goes, but our time spent with michael left us a believe in the art of action. spend a few getting to know michael through our Q & A and we promise, by the end you he will push you to do something, do anything, and we’re fairly certain, it ‘s going to spark the do something cool in you.
how did you become a man in a van?
i am actually writing about that now for my blog, it’s a bit of a personal story. i was in a relationship that wasn’t very healthy for either of us. for me, it enabled me to sit around and postpone a lot of my happiness. we just sat around and dreamed things up all day without really chasing those goals. when that came to an end i realized that’s a problem i have and decided i had to do something about it before i spent the rest of my life on a couch wondering “what if.” i had been talking about living in a van for a number of years. before i knew it, i pulled the trigger on a toyota chinook.
what has this transition been like?
it was hard at first, really hard. but there was something that told me to keep going and not give up on that idea, so i resolved to be in the camper for an entire year. it’s been seventeen months now and i am loving it more and more every day.
what’s something that really inspires you to keep pushing?
i spent a long time living in a situation were i had to tell myself i was happy, ignoring that deep down emptiness. living in los angeles allows one a lot of opportunities, and i’m sure some people couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, but i had to learn the hard way that it wasn’t for me.
now, when i’m out on the road having car trouble on some abandoned highway between two towns i have never heard of, i always take a second to think about being in gridlocked traffic in la and just smile about it.
when you find something you love doing, it gets really easy to push on.
how did your relationship with the outdoors begin?
when i was growing up three hours inland, surfing was something that seemed so unobtainable. for college, i was lucky enough to move to san diego, ca and the first thing i did was buy a surfboard and a wetsuit. i fell in love with it, and soon saw my life began to revolved around the ocean, the swells and the conditions. my happiness became intertwined with nature. it wasn’t long before i started pursuing a path that would take me into the world of the outdoors.
who’s someone that inspires you?
i could run off a million names, but one that comes to mind is my good buddy and mentor jeremy lynch. he showed me the ropes in la, and even though it meant leaving him hanging, when i said i wanted to pursue other interests, he’s stood by me and been my biggest cheerleader. he taught me to stick to my guns and stand by my creations even when others are doubting or trying to change me. he’s a great artist, a strong soul, and the best mentor a guy could ask for.
you’ve had lots of experiences, met so many people being on the road for so long, tell us about one thing that has really stuck with you?
each person has some light or wisdom inside that could change your life. traveling is a great way to meet people from all sorts of walks of life and i think people teach me valuable lessons almost every day. it’s almost impossible to pick just one, but i was hiking with my pops and some of his buddies last summer and i was getting a lot of life advice from those guys. one person noticed me writing in my journal and told me “i started writing in my journal every day twenty years ago and i wish i started twenty years before that.” i think about that a lot and find it resonates into other parts of life quite easily.
it’s beautiful! the earth is vast. it’s strong and gentle. it’s a fantastic listener and a better teacher. playground is the best way to describe it.
i always tell people that the best conversations happens under the stars by a roaring fire. there is something about those moments, that’s what we were made for.
not these boxy cars and cubicles. fuck that shit.
do something cool, tell us about the what and the where it’s going from your perspective?
i like hearing you say from your perspective. where it started and what i keep in the back of my mind is that i want do something cool to be completely subjective. that’s why i like the word cool. because what you think is cool is completely different from what i think is cool. what i love, is hearing what people have to say about what they think is cool. i don’t care what it is, if you’re passionate about it, i guarantee that i want to hear you tell me about it. if you’re really passionate and knowledgeable about it, you’ll have my attention. i’ve always like hearing people’s stories in that regard, their passions and interests. i’ve always wanted do something cool to be a place where we talk about and have a platform to express those interests.
right now, i’m in a very prolonged phase of do something cool, where it’s me doing something cool, doing what i’m really passionate and excited about, what really lights my fire. soon, when i move back to san diego, i’m going to start launching phase two, which is going to be a little more about sharing other people’s stories. telling stories, maybe some documentary films, taking a journalistic approach to trends and people’s passions. what i’ve been telling people, and it kind of goes with this outdoor vibe i have going right now is that i want do something cool to be an online campfire. a place where people can sit down and share. stories, interests. we can talk about conservation, politics, music, travel, whatever you want. whatever you think is cool and exciting, i want to hear about it.
i have always loved sharing. toys, food, i was a big team sports guy growing up. so when i got into making movies and taking pictures it just felt natural to try and share as much as possible.
the older i get and the more aware i become of the world around me and the more i want to share stories that i think can help people and our planet. i think that’s my calling to help the world, i think that’s the next chapter of my story.
what’s something that you think is important?
the most important thing for me is to just be a good human. pick up your trash, pick up other people’s trash. buy a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. smile more. simple things really, if everybody just made the right choices that sit right in front of them the world would be a much better place. i am signing up to fight the good fight, but the least you can do is be a good person on the ground floor.
if you let me, i would sit in a box thinking of the pros and cons of every major decision until the end of time. thats bad.
worse, that’s boring.
so how i do what i do is to just start doing, i force myself to be diligent about pursuing any idea, whim, or passion that i have until that idea takes full shape. i get a high of that accomplishment of doing things, anything from finishing a film project to summiting a mountain. the trick is to not get paralyzed in the “what if” stage of it.
cheers to the little moments that create big memories. to the campfires, hot showers and countless stories created. thanks for sharing yours, michael. until next time…
Stranded on Land